A welcome return to the home ground of the England team, after a seven year absence while the new Wembley stadium was constructed. That said, the team playing at venues around the country did provide some fans with a better opportunity of attending games, rather than having to travel to London. However, talk was not about the stadium but the return to the national team of David Beckham for this particular match. The former England captain had a magnificent game and played a big part in England's goal.
There were a host of players missing for this game due to injury - Ashley Cole, Gary Neville, Andy Johnson, Micah Richards, Owen Hargreaves and Ben Foster, some would have started this match. Wayne Rooney was not selected as he is suspended for the Estonia match in five days time. However, back in action were Michael Owen, Joe Cole and of course, David Beckham. Both Owen and Beckham had not represented their country since the 2006 World Cup Finals, Owen had been missing due to injury.
In the opening period Ledley King made a good challenge on Ronaldinho to end an attacking move by Brazil. Then moments later, Beckham made a nice cross for Michael Owen, but the ball was just too far ahead for the Newcastle striker to reach. Robinho put a shot wide in the thirteenth minute, whilst Beckham tried one of his trademark free-kicks in the seventeenth minute, and Joe Cole's shot from 30-yards was tame and was straight at Brazil's goalkeeper, Helton.
The visitors had a goal disallowed for offside in the nineteenth minute when Silva put the ball in the net. Two other Brazilians were the offenders. Then, just before the half hour mark, Gerrard made a wonderful tackle on Kaka to prevent him from taking a shot at England's goal. Outstanding. Two minutes later action was at the other end of the field when Gerrard was fouled by Mineiro. Beckham took the awarded free-kick and his effort was agonisingly inches wide of the net - Helton having thought the ball was in his goal. Five minutes on, King was the offender and Brazil were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the area. Ronaldinho took the free-kick but although his attempt was just wide of the target, it wasn't as close as Beckham's had been.
The second half was almost five minutes old when Robinson was forced to make a superb save from a deflection from King, after a shot from Ronaldinho. Tottenham Hotspur's 'keeper managed to put the ball over the net to keep the score on level terms.
Stewart Downing replaced Joe Cole in the 62nd minute and only two minutes later he was almost on the scoresheet. He would have put England ahead were it not for Helton making a good save on Downing's 30-yard shot, knocking the ball over the net.
England did take the lead after 68 mintues. A Beckham cross connected with John Terry's head and the ball beat Helton as it sailed into the top corner. England's past and present captains had teamed up to put the home side ahead. John Terry was substituted four minutes later as a precaution with a hamstring injury. Beckham was replaced five minutes after that, receiving a thunderous applause from the England fans for his contribution to the match. What a return he had with several great free-kicks and crosses.
Unfortunately England could not hold on to their lead and slipped in the second of three minutes of added time. They were agonisingly so close to winning their first game at the new Wembley, and beating famous opposition, Brazil. Silva made a cross to Diego, who headed the ball past Robinson from 12-yards.
So, a big question now....Will McClaren select Beckham for the Euro 2008 qualifier on Wednesday? I guess we'll have to wait and see. Based on tonight's evidence, fans would think Beckham has every right to start for England in the next game.
Robinson #1, Carragher #2, King #5, Shorey #3, Terry #6 - Captain (Brown 72 mins - #12), Beckham #7 (Jenas 77 mins - #17), J Cole #11 (Downing 62 mins - #20), Gerrard #4, Lampard #8 (Carrick 88 mins - #16), Owen #10 (Crouch 83 mins - #21), Smith #9 (Dyer 62 mins - #19).
Subs Not Used: Carson #13, Green #22, Bridge #14, P Neville #15, Bentley #18, Defoe #23. (Full Squad)
Helton #1, Gilberto #6, Daniel #2 (Maicon 65 mins - #13), Naldo #3, Juan #4, Silva #8 - Captain, Ronaldinho #7, Kaka #10 (Alves 71 mins - #21), Mineiro #5 (Edmilson 63 mins - #17), Robinho #11 (Diego 74 mins - #20), Vagner Love #9.
Subs Not Used: Doni #12, Alex #15, Silva #14, Marcelo #16, Elano #19, Josue #18, Jo #22.
England Goal: Terry (68 mins)
Brazil Goals: Diego (90 mins).
England Cautions: None
Brazil Cautions: None
Referee: Markus Merk (Germany)